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News

Update Center

Duluth Schools closed through the end of the school year. Learning continues.

We appreciate the help and support of our staff, students and families as we address this continually evolving situation.  We’ll continue to communicate as often as possible through a variety of venues, including this web page.  

May 29, 2020: 
Update: ISD 709 Summer Programs
As we transition to summer programs and building use, ISD 709 is committed to making decisions based on good policy and data in partnership with state agencies.
Information from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) indicates an increase in cases of COVID-19 with a peak projected in late summer. The safety of our students, staff, and community are of the utmost importance.
 
Educational Programs/Athletics/Enrichment
Begin with the following programs and revisit for possible changes after July 5.
June 15: Summer School 9-12 begins
June 15: Some MSHSL Activities will slowly scale up based on MDH and MSHSL guidance and local ability to clean facilities and maintain safety.
Duluth Community Education - online courses only
Drivers Education will offer behind the wheel following safety guidelines
After considering the challenges regarding COVID-19 response and the multitude of variables related to safety and financial efficiency, EXCEL will not be offered this summer.
Each program will send out information with specific details and steps taken that ensure the safety of staff and students.
 
Emergency Childcare
Free emergency childcare service ends after June 5.
 
Free Breakfast/Lunch Available Through Summer
Available weekdays to Duluth students 18 years of age and younger. No paperwork necessary.
Through June 5, 2020 (last day of school) - Free bagged meals available per current school sites and bus hub schedules.
June 8 - June 30, 2020 - A new bagged meal pickup schedule begins, includes several school locations and several bus hubs. Detailed locations and times will be shared prior to the last day of school.
July 1 - August 21, 2020 - The distribution schedule will change again to meet USDA Summer Meals program requirements.

May 22, 2020: 

Update: Duluth Public Schools Virtual High School Graduation Ceremonies

Class of 2020 Denfeld High School Virtual Commencement
Tuesday June 9, 2020 6:00PM
WDSE/WRPT Explore Channel (8.2, 31.2)
Streaming online: www.youtube.com/user/StationWDSE
 
Class of 2020 Duluth East High School Virtual Commencement
Tuesday June 9, 2020 7:30PM
WDSE/WRPT Explore Channel (8.2, 31.2)
Streaming online: www.youtube.com/user/StationWDSE
 
Class of 2020 Adult Learning Center, Area Learning Center, Bridge Program, Transition 12 Program Virtual Commencement
Tuesday June 2, 2020 3:00PM
 
#Inspire709 #DuluthPublicSchoolsStrong

May 5, 2020: 

Update: Duluth Public Schools Will Hold Virtual High School Graduation Ceremonies

Duluth Public Schools officials announced today that high schools will celebrate graduations virtually this year.  The decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state orders restricting large gatherings.

“Graduation from high school is a significant milestone, one that students anticipate and look forward to for years,” said Bill Gronseth, Superintendent. “In the face of the pandemic and the restrictions and uncertainty around it, identifying a safe and meaningful way to honor that milestone and our graduating seniors is important. We want to provide our schools ample time to work on this.  We understand this is not the way families or students envisioned graduation would be - no one did - but it’s the best decision for this time.”   

Denfeld and Duluth East are working with staff and students to create virtual graduation ceremony videos.  The schools are partnering with WDSE-TV8 and the pre-recorded celebrations will be broadcast and shared with the Duluth community. Pre-production of the video will include an opportunity for a student to have their photo taken on their high school stage, wearing their cap and gown,with a limited number of family members present.

Schools are incorporating traditional elements such as speeches and music, plus components that would not normally be part of an on-stage ceremony such as photos and videos.  Most importantly, they are providing graduating seniors the honor of being recognized for all they have accomplished. 

“Our schools have had discussions, both formal and informal, with students and staff since it was first anticipated that current circumstances might require a new approach to graduation,” said Danette Seboe, Duluth East High School Principal. “The goal of this planning was and is to provide a memorable senior experience.”

“We’re committed to providing a safe, creative and moving celebration that honors our graduating seniors, one that can be shared with families and with the citizens of Duluth,” said Laurie Knapp, Interim Denfeld High School Principal. 

“The staff at all of our schools strive to make graduation and the commencement ceremony a special experience, and they’re determined more than ever to do so again this year,” said Gronseth. “I’m proud of our seniors and our school staff during this uncertain time and grateful for the support and understanding of families and our Duluth community.” 

Further details regarding virtual graduation ceremonies and activities honoring the Class of 2020 will be shared by each school as they become available.

Academic Excellence Online (AEO), Area Learning Center (ALC), and Adult Basic Education (ABE) are also planning virtual graduation events.

 
 

Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Email: covidquestions@ISD709.org

Resources: MN Department of Health

COVID-19 Hotline: Questions about COVID-19? Call the MDH COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Resources: St. Louis County Health Department